Top-notch goalkeeping and not-so-top-notch finishing on both sides left Minnesota United FC and Tampa Bay to play to a scoreless draw on Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the first North American Soccer League match for both teams.
"It was a difficult night for both teams," United coach Manny Lagos said. "We had some good moments where we played some lovely soccer. I wish we could've had a few more chances, and ultimately turned them into goals."
Sammy Ndjock earned the shutout in goal for United, which saw its best chance of the first half come off a miscommunication with Rowdies goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky. Loons midfielder Miguel Ibarra pressured Contofalsky, who was trying to clear the ball, forcing him to give the ball away near his own goal. Christian Ramirez received the ball and tried to chip the ball over Contofalsky, but the keeper flailed his hand up to knock the ball down in a desperation save.
The Rowdies had the better chances after halftime, with forward Brian Shriver, a second-half substitution, able to get wide open but unable to score. Corey Hertzog also put a header inches wide in the 89th minute.
"This is a positive as long as we come out and play better next week," Lagos said.
United visits Ottawa net Saturday, with its home opener April 25 against San Antonio at National Sports Center in Blaine.
Eastview's Madison Guebert was announced as Minnesota's 2015 Mis Basketball on Saturday by the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association.
Guebert lead Eastview to the Clas 4A state tournament the past two seasons, including a championship in 2014.
The other Miss Basketball finalists were Monica Burich of Roseville, TT Starks of Hopkins, Alex Wittinger of Delano and Taylor Reiss of Minneota.
The association also inducted coaches Doug Boe of Burnsville, Brian Cosgriff of Hopkins and Tom Niebauer of Badger/Greenbush/Middle River, along with official Jim Herder of Robbinsdale into the Hall of Fame.
U softball wins
The Gophers took the lead with a four-run fourth inning and rolled from there to a 10-2, five-inning softball victory over first-place Northwestern on Saturday at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.
Paige Palkovich hit a three-run homer in the inning and finished with four RBI. Sara Groenewegen added a two-run shot. Freshman Kylie Stober got the victory for the Gophers (32-7, 8-3 Big Ten). Northwestern is 20-13 and 8-2.
Nebrasks gets even
A four-run eighth inning lifted Nebraska to a 7-4 victory over the Gophers in Lincoln, Neb. The Cornhuskers (25-11, 4-4 Big Ten) evened the baseball series at one win each with the Gophers (12-18, 3-8).
Minnesota's hitters got to Nebraska starter Kyle Kubat for 11 hits and three runs, taking a 3-2 lead in the fourth. But the Huskers tied it in the fifth and took the lead with a two-out rally in the eighth.
Center fielder Dan Motl hit 3-for-5 with a double and a run for the Gophers, and Ryan Boldt had a triple and three RBI.
U tennis team rolls
No. 23 Leandro Toledo defeated Michael Zhu 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, leading the Gophers men's tennis team to a 6-1 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Gophers improved to 16-6, 7-1 in the Big Ten.
•The Gophers women's team (15-7, 5-3 Big Ten) lost 7-0 at home to No. 23 Northwestern (11-6, 6-2).